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OU football: 3 takeaways from Sooners' Bedlam win over OSU

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Kennedy Brooks

Redshirt sophomore running back Kennedy Brooks during the Bedlam game against Oklahoma State Nov. 30.

No. 7 Oklahoma picked up its fifth-straight Bedlam victory with a 34-16 win over No. 21 Oklahoma State.

The Sooners (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) are now set up with a rematch against No. 9 Baylor (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) next week in Arlington, Texas. The winner of which will have a strong case for the fourth and final spot in the College Football Playoff rankings.

Here are three takeaways from the Oklahoma win:

Sooners one step closer to College Football Playoff

As each week passes, Oklahoma's once-dim College Football Playoff chances appear to be looking brighter and brighter. Last week, No. 14 Oregon picked up its second loss of the year and this week, No. 5 Alabama and No. 8 Minnesota each lost their games for the second time this year, effectively ending any playoff hopes for them.

Perhaps most importantly, the Sooners keep winning. After a convincing road win over the No. 21 team in the country and another top-10 matchup looming with Baylor, Oklahoma is continuing to build up quality wins.

The only two teams appearing to stand in Oklahoma's way now are No. 4 Georgia and No. 6 Utah, which both won Saturday. The Bulldogs will be underdogs to No. 2 LSU in next week's SEC title game, and the Utes will have to take on Oregon for the Pac-12 crown. If both lose and the Sooners take down Baylor, then Oklahoma will likely sneak its way into the fourth spot.

Kennedy Brooks finishing the year with elite performances

For much of the season, running back Kennedy Brooks struggled to find opportunities for carries, but his role has been increasing in the last three games.

Brooks finished with 22 carries for 160 yards and a touchdown. He was particularly valuable in the second half, as the Sooners were attempting to run the ball frequently to maintain the time of possession. 

The redshirt sophomore only received 10 carries twice in the first seven games of the season, but he's gotten at least 15 in each of the last four. With junior running back Trey Sermon out for the rest of the season with an injury, Brooks has solidified himself as the featured running back for the home stretch.

Takeaway potential increasing

The Sooners defense has largely been focused on creating more takeaways, but they have struggled to do that for much of the year. The defense forced two takeaways against the Cowboys, but there was potential for more.

Senior cornerback Parnell Motley forced and recovered a fumble in the first quarter for the Sooners' first takeaway. Cowboy running back Chuba Hubbard recovered two of his own fumbles, and Motley had an interception overturned on a controversial replay review. Motley would get an interception late in the fourth quarter.

Even with Oklahoma forcing two turnovers, there was potential for more. Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch will likely be disappointed with the ones they left on the field, but the opportunities are increasing, which may bode well for Oklahoma.

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